Ben Thorpe Brown

Gropius Memory Palace

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2018

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Location:

Catskill Zendo

Mountaindale, Upstate New York. USA

Lenape Land

Screening and Discussion.
Gropius Memory Palace, 2017, 4K Video, 5.1 Sound, 20:17


Gropius Memory Palace is a portrait of the Fagus Factory in Alfeld, Germany, one of the earliest designs of Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius. The Fagus Factory opened in 1913 and remains in operation, continuing to make shoe lasts (wooden or plastic molds used in constructing shoes). It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum.

The film invites viewers to participate in a guided meditation exercise in which they construct a “memory palace” from the rooms of Walter Gropius’s iconic factory. This ancient technique engages a specific architectural setting to store new memories, or perhaps reformat old ones. In this case, a viewer uses the Fagus Factory as a setting to explore images related to work. Blurring the lines between a therapeutic tool and architecture film, the project seeks to soothe anxieties around technology’s effects on the body and the workplace, and explores the relationship between memory and architecture.

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